Washington Firemen Train in Relay Operations

Washington Firemen Train in Relay Operations

Multiple Pumper Operations Using Heavy Duty Appliances, Including Fog Head Nozzles, Taught District of Columbia Firemen

A SPECIAL REPORT

Editor’s Note: Fire Engineering is indebted to Chief Engineer Joseph H. Mayhew and members of his staff of the District of Columbia Fire Department for this exclusive account of the preparatory training given all members of the department in relay operations and heavy stream appliances.

“Operations Relay” has also been observed by Metropolitan Washington Civil Defense officials and others, including fire service instructors and fire protection engineers from a wide area.

EACH morning, except when there is inclement weather, two engine companies and one ladder company of the District of Columbia Fire Department, Washington, are placed out of service in order that personnel and apparatus may report to Lieutenant A. M. Peel and Sergeant L. N. Balcom of the D.C.F.D. at the Drillground, beside the Annacostia River.

Actually these units are not entirely out of service for large fires, or where they may be needed, because by means of the two-way radio, with which each unit is equipped, the companies are in touch with Fire Alarm Headquarters. During this period all other radios in the department are turned off in order to keep the air clear.

Special nozzles are tested as part of Operation Relay. Water relayed by four pumpers through 1,200-foot hose lines is siamesed into a length of 3-inch hose to supply a 500 GPM fog head, approimately 45 feet above the ground level.

These pumpers and other units are linked together on the Drillground by means of two walkie-talkie radios and three portable voice amplifiers.

The purpose of this program is to better prepare all members of the District of Columbia Fire Department for appropriate fire control action following an air raid on their city.

This training, known as “Operations Relay,” under the direction of Chief Instructor Clarence Quick, gives the fire fighters experience in drafting water from the Anacostia River, east of the Sousa Bridge, and relaying it from one pumping engine to another for great distances. A total of four different pumping engines are used each day, as well as one each of the department’s 100 foot aerial ladders.

In the words of Chief Engineer Mayhew, “Although firemen have been relaying water for over twenty-five years, they are now rehearsing the operation so as to be prepared to supply two hose lines simultaneously, and in other cases, to extend the layout so that one pumping engine can supply water through 4,000 feet of hose as part of a civil defense drill in case of atomic attack— which might disrupt normal water supplies.”

Special nozzles are tested as part of Operation Relay. Water is relayed through two 1,200-foot hose lines to supply 500 GPM to a fog head attached to a monitor nozzle.

It should be mentioned at this point that all emergency and static water supplies in and around Washington have been charted. This includes swimming pools, lakes, creeks, river as well as the reservoirs containing water.

Preparatory to “Operations Relay” a manual entitled “Information on Operational Procedure for Relaying Water” was written by Lieut. A. M. Peel and Sergt. L. N. Balcom under the direction of Chief Instructor Clarence Quick, after briefing the personnel of each engine company in the District. As a result, there was included in the program for “Operations Relay” instruction on the use of largest size “fog-head nozzles” fitted to various types of heavy duty fire fighting equipment maintained by the District Fire Department.

Foreword on Relay Lines

The manner in which water is relayed for firefighting purposes under ordinary circumstances is outlined in Pump Operating Procedure under “Relaying Water.” However, it is felt that some additional procedures would be necessary to relay water long distances in the event that the normal water supply system is disrupted by enemy action. Broken water mains, road blocks, opened up buildings, disrupted communications, all add factors not encountered in the usual fireground operations of the Fire Department.

Pump operator advancing the side gasoline throttle to bring the pumps up to the proper pressure to supply 600 GPM through two lines to the wagon. Pipe stream shown in background. Third and fourth pumpers in line are shown.

Therefore, it is the purpose of these instructions to establish general procedures for relaying water for firefighting purposes under conditions that might be encountered after an enemy bombing.

Part I is a general procedure for relaying water under the above conditions to supply either hand lines or heavy duty devices.

Part II is a drillground procedure to afford all companies an opportunity to gain experience in relaying water to hand lines and heavy duty devices.

Part I. Procedure for Relaying Water Through Two Lines Hose)

It is not likely that water will be available from the public water supply system in the event of a bombing, and provisions must be made to relay water a great distance from other sources.

Two basic operations have been established for relaying water through two lines under these conditions; namely, a “300 gpm operation” and a “600 gpm operation.”

The 300 gpm operation will be used where the distance between the source of supply and the fire is extremely great. This will supply hand lines using 1 1/8 inch or 1 1/4 inch tips, or two such lines may be used to supply a heavy duty device.

When relaying 300 gpm, the strength of the hose is the limiting factor in determining the distance between pumpers. For this reason, 260 pounds is established as the maximum operating pressure for each pumper.

The 300 gpm shall be relayed through two lines in order to reduce the friction loss. This will permit a greater distance between pumpers and reduce the number of pumpers required for each relayed line. For example, the maximum distance a pump operating at 260 pounds pressure could supply 300 gpm through a single line to another pump would be 1150 feet. By relaying 300 gpm through two lines the friction loss would be reduced to 6 pounds per 100 feet and the maximum distance between pumpers would be increased to 4000 feet.

The 600 gpm operation may be used to supply hand lines or heavy duty devices where the distance between the source of supply and the fire is not prohibitive. It is obvious that when relaying 600 gpm two lines would always be necessary due to the high friction loss of 600 gpm through one line.

The maximum distance between pumpers when relaying 600 gpm through two lines would be determined by the capacity and rating of the pumps used.

The available apparatus, amount of hose on apparatus and in reserve, size of fire, and the distance water must be relayed are all factors in selecting the type of operation to be used.

Layout Procedure

Starting at the source of supply one company, shall lay two parallel lines as far as their hose will reach. The pumper shall return to the source of supply and prepare to get water. The wagon shall be placed in line at the proper distance from the pumper at the source of supply and make connections to relay water through two lines. (Where the wagon is not needed in the relayed line, it will be available to return to quarters for additional hose.)

Water is being relayed by four pumpers to supply this powerful wagon pipe stream with water drafted from the Anacostia River. Battalion Chief's car in right foreground.

The second company shall connect their hose to the line of the first company and lay two parallel lines until all of their hose is used or the fire position is reached. The pumper and hose wagon shall be placed in line at the proper place and the proper connections made to relay water through two lines. The intake lines may be connected to separate intakes, or siamesed into one intake.

Each company shall lay all of their hose in a similar manner and place the apparatus in line at the proper place. This layout procedure shall continue until the fire position is reached. The result will be a series of pumps so placed as to relay water through two lines from the source of supply to the fire position.

The distance between each pumper will vary according to the type of operation selected. When the 300 gpm operation is used, the pumpers can be placed 4000 feet apart regardless of the size of the pump since the strength of the hose is the limiting factor. Apparatus not needed in the relayed lines will be available to return to quarters for additional hose.

When the 600 gpm operation is used, the chart on Number of Lines That Can Be Supplied on page 153, Pump Operating Procedure shall be used in calculating the maximum distance between pumpers. Two examples of using this chart to calculate the maximum distance between pumpers are given below:

Example 1. A 750 gpm pumper rated at 150 pounds is located at the source of supply. Two lines have been laid to relay water to a ladder pipe equipped with a 1 1/2 inch tip.

Question: How far from this pump would the next pump be placed in the relayed lines?

The formula for the ladder pipe using a 1 1/2 inch tip is 145 plus 20 therefore the formula for the pumpers in line is 20 plus 20. According to the chart on Number of Lines That Can Be Supplied, this pumper can supply two lines (tips 1 1/8 or larger) at pressures under 170 pounds. The friction loss must be kept under 150 pounds, since 20 pounds pressure is allowed for the intake of the next pump. Allowing 20 pounds per 100 feet for friction loss, the next pumper would be placed 700 feet from the pumper at the source of supply.

If a 750 gpm pumper rated at 150 pounds is last in line, using a formula of 145 plus 20, only 25 pounds pressure would be available for friction loss from the pumper to the Siamese at the ladder pipe. Therefore, only 100 feet of hose could be used.

Example 2. A 1000 gpm pumper has been placed in line to relay water through two lines to supply a wagon pipe using a 1 1/2 inch tip.

Question: How far from this pump would the next pumper be placed in the relayed lines?

The formula for the pumper in line is 20 plus 25 (from the plate on the side of the apparatus). According to the chart on Number of Lines That Can Be Supplied, this pumper can supply two lines (tips 1 1/8″ or larger) at pressures under 250 pounds. The friction loss must be kept under 230 pounds, since 20 pounds pressure is allowed for the intake of the next pumper. Allowing 25 pounds per 100 feet for friction loss, the next pumper would be placed 900 feet from the 1000 gpm pumper.

Part II. Drillground Procedure for Relaying Wafer

OBJECTIVE: TO afford all companies an opportunity to gain experience in relaying water to hand lines and heavy duty devices.

LOCATION OF DRILLGROUND: In Fairlawn Park along the Anacostia River, east of the Sousa Bridge.

EQUIPMENT: Two engine companies, fully equipped.

One truck company, fully equipped.

DESIGNATION OF COMPANIES: For the purpose of identification both on the drillground and in the following instructions, the engine companies selected for drill will be designated “E-l” and “E-2”. The hose wagon of “E-l” will be referred to as “E-1W” and the pumper as “E-1P”. The hose wagon of “E-2” will be referred to as “E-2W” and the pumper as “E-2P”.

Laying Lines

PROCEDURE:

“E-l” shall lay two parallel lines of hose with the hose wagon and pumper starting at the source of supply and continuing for 700 feet. (This simulates the laying of all the hose.) The pumper shall return to the source of supply and prepare to draft water. The wagon shall be placed in line 300 feet from the pumper and proper connections made to relay water through two lines. (This represents the maximum distance that the pumper can supply the required volume of water.)

Starting where “E-l” has stopped, “E-2” shall then lay two parallel lines in the following manner. The wagon shall connect to one line and lay hose for 500 feet. (This represents reaching the fire position.) The wagon shall be placed in line 400 feet from “E-1W” and proper connections made to relay water through two lines. (This represents the maximum distance that “E-1W” can supply the required volume of water.) To simulate blocked streets, or any other reason why the apparatus could not be used to lay hose, the line from “E-2P” shall be laid by hand. “E-2P” shall be placed 100 feet from the fire position facing the fire position. Ladder company personnel shall be used to lay this 400 foot line to the end of the line from “E-l” and make proper connection. A 100 feet of hose shall also be laid by hand to the fire position. Connections shall be made to ”E-2P” to relay water through two lines to the monitor nozzle located at the fire position.

The ladder company shall place the aerial truck near the fire position and place the monitor nozzle in service using a small tip (1 1/2inch or inch).

Relay Problem No. 1

Water shall be ordered in the proper manner.

Pumps shall be operated at the correct pressure for a sufficient length of time to permit the taking of nozzle pressure readings and the recording of the proper information by each operator on the form furnished for this purpose.

When ordered, pumps shall be shut down in the proper manner.

Relay Problem No. 2

The ladder company shall disconnect one line from the monitor nozzle and attach a playpipe equiped with a 1 1/8 inch tip.

Water shall be ordered in the proper manner.

The formula for the pumps in line would be 20 plus 6. This formula shall be used for the “300 gpm operation”. The formula for the last pump in line would be the regular formula for 1 1/8 inch tip; that is, 50 plus 20.

Pumps shall be operated at the correct pressure for a sufficient length of time to permit the taking of nozzle pressure readings and the recording of the proper information by each operator on the form furnished for this purpose.

When ordered, pumps shall be shut down in the proper manner.

Relay Problem No. 3

The ladder company shall place the ladder pipe in service using a 1 1/2 inch tip.

Water ordered in the proper manner. Pumps shall be operated at the correct pressure for a sufficient length of time to permit the taking of nozzle pressure readings and the recording of the proper information by each operator on the form furnished for this purpose.

When ordered, pumps shall be shut down in the proper manner.

Relay Problem No. 4

E-2P shall go to the source of supply and prepare to draft and relay water through two lines. E-IP shall go to position of E-2W (third pump in line) and make connections to relay water through two lines. E-2W shall be placed within 50 feet of the fire position and the wagon pipe shall be placed in service using a 1 1/2 inch tip.

Water ordered in the proper manner. Pumps shall be operated at the correct pressure for a sufficient length of time to permit the taking of nozzle pressure reading and the recording of the proper information by each operator on the form furnished for this purpose.

When ordered, pumps shall be shut down in the proper manner.

Relay Problem No. 5

E-2W shall go to position of E-1W (second pump in line) and make connections to relay water through two lines. E-1W shall be placed within 50 feet of the fire position and the wagon pipe shall be placed in service, using a 1 1/2 inch tip.

Water ordered in the proper manner.

Pumps shall be operated at the correct pressure tor a sufficient length of time to permit the taking of nozzle pressure readings and the recording of the proper information by each operator on the form furnished for this purpose.

When ordered, pumps shall be shut down in the proper manner.

Relay Problem No. 6

E-1W shall go to the source of supply and prepare to draft and relav water through one line to E-1P. E-2W shall go to the source of supply and prepare to draft and relay water through one line to E-2P. (E-1W and E-2W shall connect their respective intake and discharge lines together before going to the draft position.) E-2P shall take position near E-1P and make connections to relay water through one line by taking one intake line and one discharge line from E-1P. The ladder company shall attach playpipes to each of the lines using a 1 1/8 inch tip on the line from E-1P and a 1 1/4 inch tip on the line from E-2P.

Water ordered in the proper manner.

Pumps shall be operated at the correct pressure for a sufficient length of time to permit the taking of nozzle pressure readings and the recording of the proper information by each operator on the form furnished for this purpose.

When ordered, pumps shall be shut down in the proper manner.

Relay Problem No. 7

The ladder company shall remove playpipes and place the monitor nozzle in service using a small tip (1 1/2 inch or 1 5/8 inch).

Water shall be ordered in the proper manner.

Pumps shall be operated at the correct pressure for a sufficient length of time to permit the taking of nozzle pressure readings and the recording of the proper information by each operator on the form furnished for this purpose.

When ordered, pumps shall be shut down in the proper manner.

General Instructions

Companies selected for drill shall report at 9:00 A.M. in Fairlawn Park east of the south end of Sousa Bridge. Final instructions and designation of engine companies will be made at this time.

Communications will be maintained with fire alarm headquarters from the drillground in order that the services of the training units will be available in event of a major fire or other emergency. Apparatus and personnel reporting shall be fully equipped. A minimum of 1200 feet of 2 1/2 inch hose shall be carried by each pumper and hose wagon so that after laying hose lines a sufficient amount of hose will remain to place the company in service.

Ladder pipe with 1 1/2-inch tip is being supplied with 600 GPM by four pumping engines relaying water through two lines of 2 1/2-inch hose, 1,200 feet in length.

There will be an allowance of 1/2 hour at mid-day for lunch. Personnel shall bring their own lunch, since there will be no eating facilities on the drillground

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